Monday, August 25, 2008

School year chores

School starts tomorrow. I never like school... I enjoy having the boys around and spending so much time with them. I enjoy not having much of a schedule. And now I will miss all the time they spend entertaining Naomi- even by them just being around is entertaining to her and keeps her out of trouble.
To keep our house running smoothly and to make sure that things get done, I have some sort of system so the boys have chores to do. They have been doing chores ever since they could understand what I was saying. When they were really little, I didn't have a chart or anything, but I would give them a bucket of water and a rag and let them wash the kitchen floor. I think being involved in things like this make them feel needed and important, plus it teaches them how to keep a house clean out of habit rather than letting the mess build until it's intolerable.
During the summer we had this top chore chart.But I had them doing alot of morning chores so their afternoons were free. So I had to revise it for the school year. I sat down with them and got ideas and they wanted the "Chore Jar" again, so on their "afternoon" chores, they have to do 1 jar chore.
I wrote out 18 chores (well, 19- I stuck in a "kiss or hug mom" paper, when they pull that out they'll do it and then pick another chore... I did it once and they were begging for me to do it again) 1 chore for each boy Monday through Saturday. Sundays are low key, I have them scheduled to fold clothes, take out trash or dry dishes on Sunday, but it's not too often that that is needed. They also don't practice piano on Sunday and we don't play video games, though we will watch a family movie.
All the slips of paper are folded and put into the "To Do" jar, so in the afternoon they will take one out (no searching/looking and picking a different chore), then they will put the paper in the "Completed" jar and get that chore done. So by the end of the week, everything will have gotten done and we will put the chores back into the "To Do" jar.
We post the chore chart up on the fridge. All chores have to be done before they can play video games. We rarely watch TV and normally want to get something done on a video game rather than watching a movie. They have 30 minutes of "screen" time each day and it seems to be the highlight of the day.It might not seem like alot of time, but with the 3 of them playing separately, that's 1 1/2 hours that they are sitting in front of the TV. I personally prefer when they all play together so it's done in 30 minutes and they have to be creative/use their imaginations.
The boys never complain about doing chores. I think the only one they don't care for is folding clothes, but it's not my favorite either, so I can't blame them. But they don't complain. If chores don't get done and they play video games... they are grounded for a week from video games.This is rather funny, because they will do it to themselves! A couple times I've heard one of them in the kitchen "Oh MAN! Mom! I'm grounded from games for a week!". How good is that- they even discipline themselves!!

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